There are a few new Pedal Folk recordings in the making – here is a sneaky peek at one I finished mixing today.
It was a music celebration of Edward Thomas held the night before the annual Edward Thomas symposium. His great and great great grand daughters came along which was amazing.
You can hear some of the tracks we played here – https://soundcloud.com/pedalfolk/sets/this-is-pedal-folk
We are super excited to announce that we will be kicking off ‘Pedal Folk V’ at ‘Roll For The Soul‘ in Bristol on Friday October 3rd.
Roll for the Soul is a delightful not-for-profit bike café, workshop and bike shop in the centre of Bristol. Their vision is to become a focal point for cycling in the city, celebrating and supporting every wonderful aspect of our cycling culture and to offer a city centre space where interesting things can happen… Basically, a village hall slap-bang in the middle of Bristol.
Here is what is looks like empty….
We have also been invited back to The Bell in Bath on Sunday 5th October… now just need to find somewhere lovely for Saturday night.
Just recovering from Pedal Folk IV and we had a nice surprise in the shape of an unexpected and lovely review on the Folk Radio UK website last week.
I have taken the liberty of copying it below, but you should really read it in its full glory on their site – http://www.folkradio.co.uk/2014/06/live-review-pedal-folk-swindon-central-library-30052014/
Live Review: Pedal Folk @ Swindon Central Library, 30/05/2014
windon exists roughly at the centre of an imaginary cross whose four arms connect four of the most important places in the life of poet Edward Thomas. To the northwest are the Cotswold hills, where he spent time walking and writing with friend and fellow poet Robert Frost. To the southeast is the village of Steep in rural Hampshire where he lived from 1906. East is London, his birthplace, and west are the Quantock hills, the subject he chose for his final book of prose, In Pursuit of Spring.
Swindon was also home to the father of modern nature writing, Richard Jefferies, who was a great early influence on (and subject of a biography by) Thomas. So it is doubly appropriate that Pedal Folk should have chosen the town’s Central Library – home, incidentally, to an extensive collection of Jefferies’ works – as a venue on their In Pursuit of Spring tour.
The premise is fairly simple. Three musicians and their bicycles follow the route taken by Thomas in his book, stopping along the way to perform songs taken from or inspired by it. Of course, traveling by bike does not allow for much in the way of luggage, so the choice of instruments if fairly small – a guitar shared between the project’s joint instigators Tim Graham and Robin Grey, a ukulele and the fiddle of Katie Stone-Lonergan.
But the necessary simplicity in no way limits the range of material on offer. There are jaunty instrumental fiddle tunes (including a stirring Bath Carnival) and lusty shanties (tonight’s rendition of Santy Anna, a song Thomas loved to sing while traveling, gives Paul Clayton’s definitive version a run for its money). There are also a number of original compositions, among them Leaving London, which concludes with a spoken passage of Thomas’ prose. Grey – whose background is in pop rather than folk – emerges as an accomplished songwriter, throwing around cutting couplets and catchy hooks whilst referencing Leonard Cohen, Ani DiFranco and Weezer or eulogising his favourite inner-city vegetable-grower. Graham, more used to the folk circuit, is an excellent interpreter and re-appropriator of songs, with a hearty voice and an uncluttered Bert Jansch-esque guitar style. His spirited, unaccompanied Chiffchaff is one of many highlights, suggesting both the wonder of nature and the tragedy of trench warfare. Stone-Lonergan, who has played with the Proclaimers and west country favourites Port Erin, provides a clean, fizzing fiddle accompaniment and sweet backing vocals.
The trio have an engaging between-song repartee, important in a show like this when a certain amount of background information has to be delivered. Their enjoyment and passion for the subject is obvious and unfeigned, and they take every opportunity to include the audience in the performance, notably in John Ball, a feisty sing-along originally penned by Lord of the Dance writer Sydney Carter. It is the kind of song that thrives in a live setting.
In the folk tradition, nothing evokes the spirit of the great outdoors – and the spirit of the underdog – like a good poaching song. The best – Thorneymoor Woods, The Rufford Park Poachers, Van Diemen’s Land – manage in varying degrees to combine the romance of the sport with a serious message about class distinction and social upheaval, a message that would have appealed to Edward Thomas with his innate distrust of authority. So it is fitting that tonight’s performance ends with a stirring version of one of the best (and best-known) poaching songs, The Lincolnshire Poacher, a rousing favourite that manages to coax some singing out of the shyest quarters of the audience.
oh yes – there she is – a walk in the park compared to our last tour with no more than 32 miles a day to cycle and virtually no hill climbs involved…
View In Pursuit Of Spring in a larger map
We have always had ambitions to do pedal folk shows in schools and old peoples homes, so I am totally chuffed that we have manage to sort out a lunch time chapel performance at Cote Lane, where my grandparents live.
Not sure if I am allowed to invite people along who don’t live there but worth dropping us a cheeky line if you are in the area and fancy it – 2pm on Friday 30th August in Westbury-on-Trym, north Bristol.
I hope they like it! My grandparents tend to prefer Frank Sinatra or Bach to folk music…
Buoyed from the success of our first tour, we are taking the liberty of organising a second this summer in the last week of August.
We’ve gigs already lined up for Bath, Bristol, Stroud and Swindon. Just need a couple more now. Lovely!
29/08/13 – Bath Folk Club – Green Park Tavern – Bath
30/08/13 – El Rincón – Bristol
31/08/13 – The Prince Albert – Stroud
01/09/13 – Swindon Central Library – Swindon
Ok, so Tim just got booked to play at Folk Weekend Oxford on Saturday 20th April which now means we are going to be heading east from Bristol stopping off in Swindon on the Friday night.
More details about those gigs to follow but here is our current planned route.
View Pedal Folk Spring Tour 2013 in a larger map
Ok, so Katie is up for joining us on violin so now onto our next wish list… Places we want to play at!
Have a peek at this place called The Ethicurean – http://theethicurean.wordpress.com/.
Doesn’t it look amazing? I want to eat there and I want to play there. Let’s hope that Jack who runs the place thinks they same!